Students at Earlham College are piloting a new workforce development initiative in Wayne County. The college says Mirai Possibility is a partnership with local business and education leaders to help high school students grow their career-related skills.
The project was developed by 2022 graduate Michael Dallas, along with current students David Huang and Momo Hirose, as part of the college’s Epic Grand Challenge entrepreneurship competition. Mirai means future in Japanese.
Earlham says Northeastern Wayne Schools will select five high school juniors or seniors to participate in the program at the start of the 2022-23 academic year. Tiedemann-Bevs Industries, a Richmond-based textiles and casket interior manufacturer, will work with Earlham mentors to offer workshops on leadership, communication, problem-solving and machinery basics.
“This pilot program is aimed at students that are planning to join the workforce post-graduation and this presents them with opportunities to gain valuable workplace experiences that will help them,” Northeastern High School Principal John Markward said. “The goal is that these individuals will use these experiences to obtain employment in Wayne County to grow our local workforce.”
The program will culminate with an internship at Tiedemann-Bevs. Andy Lawrence, chief executive officer of Tiedemann-Bevs, says students will gain valuable workforce skills.
“First impressions are so critical and many workers lack the soft skills they need to be successful,” Lawrence said. “If we can build a better workforce for Wayne County, we’re going to draw more businesses and more people here—especially at a time when the labor market is struggling to meet demand.”
Mirai Possibility was developed over the last year with the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce and other local businesses. Earlham says the program will officially launch this fall.